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HomeBreaking NewsUkraine reclaims Kyiv cathedral amid church dispute

Ukraine reclaims Kyiv cathedral amid church dispute

'Quick read' news summary

KYIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government has taken the main cathedral of the revered historic monastery from the church previously affiliated with Moscow’s patriarchate and allowed its Ukrainian rival to use it for Orthodox Christmas services.

The move comes as the long-running tensions between the two churches exacerbated amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko said Thursday that the Dormition Cathedral and the Refectory Church of the nearly 1,000-year-old Pechersk Lavra — also known as Monastery of the Caves — in the Ukrainian capital have been taken over by the state after the lease of them held by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) expired on Dec. 31.

On Friday, Tkachenko said that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) — the similarly named rival church — asked for and was granted permission to conduct the service at the cathedral on Saturday when Orthodox Christmas is celebrated.

In 2019, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine received recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Moscow’s and most other Orthodox patriarchs refused to accept that designation that formalized a split with the Russian church.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which remained loyal to the Moscow patriarch since the 17th century, declared independence from Moscow’s Patriarchate after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The UOC gave Moscow a liturgical cold shoulder by dropping the commemoration of Moscow Patriarch Kirill as its leader in public worship and blessing its own sacramental oil rather than use Moscow’s supply.

But Ukrainian security agencies have claimed that it has maintained close ties

KYIV, Ukraine -- The Ukrainian government has taken the main cathedral of the revered historic monastery from the church previously affiliated with Moscow's patriarchate and allowed its Ukrainian rival to use it for Orthodox Christmas services. On Friday, Tkachenko said that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) — the similarly named rival church — asked for and was granted permission to conduct the service at the cathedral on Saturday when Orthodox Christmas is celebrated. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which remained loyal to the Moscow patriarch since the 17th century, declared independence from Moscow's Patriarchate after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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